NYT's Blow and MSNBC's Barnicle Play Fast and Loose With Public Sentiment

New York Times columnist Charles Blow and MSNBC contributor Mike Barnicle traded liberal talking points like Topps baseball cards on today’s “Morning Joe.” Confident the American people care more about eliminating preexisting conditions and expanding health insurance entitlements than the $569.2 billion tax increase and the $1.2 trillion price tag, the journalists failed to substantiate their claims with anything more than their liberal impulses.

“Most people want what they have in this bill or more,” insisted Blow. “We cannot let Republicans take over that talking point, which is that most people don’t want this bill somehow because it is too liberal. That’s just a lie. That is just a lie.”

Really? The American people don’t think the largest tax increase in American history is too liberal? The American people don’t think an unprecedented expansion of government control in the health insurance industry is too liberal? Blow’s failure to back up his assertion renders it laughable.

Then Barnicle chimed in, echoing Blow:

If I were a candidate for office this fall in the House or Senate, I would love to be running on this health care bill. I would love to be running against a Republican. I would love to be running against a Republican, and say "Here’s what you’re against: you’re against my 24-year-old daughter getting on my health care bill; you’re against preexisting conditions being eliminated by insurance companies; you’re against going after the insurance companies, that no matter what you do when you go to a hospital, the insurance companies are going to give you a problem—no matter what kind of a policy you have."


Just as Blow misrepresented the view of the American people, Barnicle distorted the conservative position. Conservatives are not necessarily against health care reform, but they are against a version of reform that adds billions in new taxes and exacerbates our fiscal crisis. Like Blow, Barnicle failed to substantiate his bold assertion with little more than the reflexive liberal talking point that conservatives are guarantors of the insurance industry who don’t want insurance extended to those who cannot afford it.

Despite what Blow and Barnicle presume, the American people are not indifferent toward higher taxes and reckless spending. While many Americans like some of the bill’s provisions, many of those people, as demonstrated in town halls across the country, are disturbed by the bill’s historically high price tag.

The partial transcript of “Morning Joe,” which aired today at 6:05 am, can be found below:

CHARLES BLOW, New York Times: The other part of it though is that most people do want health care. Most people want what they have in this bill or more. We cannot let Republicans take over that talking point, which is that most people don’t want this bill somehow because it is too liberal. That’s just a lie. That is just a lie.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI, co-host of Morning Joe: Joe would say he wants health care for all Americans. He wants exactly what you want, or what you want, for sure. And they’re being painted as people who want to deny coverage, which isn’t fair as well. It’s gotten very ugly.

MIKE BARNICLE, MSNBC contributor: If I were a candidate for office this fall in the House or Senate, I would love to be running on this health care bill. I would love to be running against a Republican. I would love to be running against a Republican, and say ‘Here’s what you’re against: you’re against my 24-year-old daughter getting on my health care bill; you’re against preexisting conditions being eliminated by insurance companies; you’re against going after the insurance companies, that no matter what you do when you go to a hospital, the insurance companies are going to give you a problem—no matter what kind of a policy you have.

BRZEZINSKI: But, but, but this will cost us, and I think the Republicans didn’t do a very good job explaining what those costs would be…

--Alex Fitzsimmons is a News Analysis intern at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.